It seems like everyone makes beats these days. But how does a producer make it to superstar status where they’re consistently producing hits in the music scene? This weekend, we attended the REVOLT x AT&T SUMMIT in Los Angeles where we listened to your favorite producers in hip-hop discuss their work and journey to success. Here are a few standout "Do's and Don'ts" from the most sought after beatmakers in the industry.
DO invest in a quality recording engineer
If you haven’t heard of Murda Beatz by now, you’re probably living on Jupiter or have made every effort to not listen to hip-hop records. The legendary producer from Ontario, Canada has made some of the most iconic tracks in new-age rap such as Travis Scott’s “Butterfly Effect” and “Pipe it Up” by Migos.
“A recording engineer is one of the most important parts of the process. If you look at the producer and the recording engineer, they are like the drummer and the bass player of the band. The music can’t be without it. The engineer controls the momentum of the recorded. These new artists be going quick and be punching in [so] if you got an engineer that can’t keep up, you’re going to wreck the vibe. [The artist] will just leave the studio. Also, I feel like they don't get enough credit either so shout out to all the engineers. People be disrespecting them. They need to be respected.” - Murda Beatz
DO have patience and develop relationships
From the early stages of making beats on his PlayStation, Sounwave built his career from the ground up starting at the age of ten. In 2005, the Compton-native was discovered by Terrence “Punch” Henderson - co-founder of Top Dawg Entertainment. Since then, he has worked with multiple TDE artists on some of their most famous works such as Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and multiple songs on the Black Panther The Album.
“My favorite placement I got was straight out of high school. But I didn't get another placement until I was 24. You actually [have to] put in that time and develop relationships. Relationships go a long way.” - Sounwave
DON’T focus only on followers
“I get a lot of people sending me stuff [saying] you should check this person out. They got a big following. I don't care about that. Just send the music. If I vibe with the music, I don’t care if you have two followers. [If] I like it, I’ll work with you.” - Sounwave
DO get in the studio with artists
Getting discovered on Myspace, HIT-BOY is a real OG when it comes to the music. Rising from Fontana, California, the producer consistently makes fire tracks for music icons. Some of the artists he has collaborated with include Kid Cudi, Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, and Drake.
“Lately, I’ve just been getting in with artists. That’s like the best way to really catch that vibe. You get an artist excited about the time they put in with you working on that song. [It’s] Perfect.” - HIT-BOY
DO reach out to local artists
Terrace Martin was exposed to music early with his father as a jazz drummer and his mother as a singer. Kicking off his career in the jazz scene, he played as a member of Billy Higgins' World Stage All-Stars. However, his big break came when he connected with Snoop Dogg to create sounds for Rhythm & Gangsta. Since then, Terrace has teamed up with YG, Kendrick Lamar, Logic, Travis Scott, Jay Rock, and Rapsody to create unforgettable records.
“In my earlier days, nobody was taking my beats. I ended up getting with some guys around town like Problem and Jay Rock, developing my own personal group. We didn't have any money, but I knew how important it was to develop a sound. I knew if we just stayed and developed a sound eventually something was going to happen.” - Terrace Martin